This is the fourth year we’ve done a list of the top “things” in the previous year. We’ve done ad campaigns, business blunders, etc. But this year, we want to get more personal.
So, rather than rap about a bunch of stuff to which we’re not intimately connected, we want to get a little more personal and share, in no certain order, what we’ve learned in 2012 that makes us better humans, business owners and marketers.
“Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” I say we learned this in 2012, not because we hadn’t read the scripture many times but because we finally learned our lesson through living it. You have to trust people, but there are degrees of trust and amounts of reputation and money you might be willing to risk.
“Plan for the worst. Hope for the best.” It is impossible to plan for every outcome, but you have to look at a number of scenarios or possible outcomes, prepare for them and then pursue your goals.
“Know when to stand there and when to do something.” Again, this is an imperfect science, a messy blend of guts and brains which, we hope, will end in glory. Will Rogers’ familiar refrain went through my head many times this year: “You may be on the right track, but if you just sit there, you’ll get run over.” The trick to business is doing the right mix of things concurrently. It’s rare that we get to work on one thing at a time, check it off the list and move on to the next thing.
“Your list is only as good as your ability to cross things off before you start.” We learned this from Ron Carson and the PEAK process. Force yourself to put no more than Six things on your list for the day. We found ourselves scrounging for the sixth most important thing most days. It is a good exercise to help stay focused and productive.
Basically, it’s about focus and effort. Focus on the right thing (singular) and moving in the right direction (just one), with a multi-faceted strategy. Odds are, it will take more than one approach and source of effort to move the entire organization in a single direction. Not the other way around. In other words, you’re better off having multiple people and processes pulling and pushing in the same direction, toward the same goal than having one or many people and processes going every which way.
If fear of going in the wrong direction (which is common), is preventing you from doing anything at all, don’t be afraid to try something. Have a method in place to measure your success (or lack of) and pull the plug if it’s not working. Then you can try something else. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up.
There. Feel better? I do. Thanks for letting me share.
Happy New Year, Wichita Small Business!